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creamy, coconutty goodness + a good reminder

Wow, guys.  I have been so MIA the past couple of days.  I have been swamped with work…essays seeming to multiply like bunnies.  I wake up thinking about work.  I go to bed thinking about work.  Eek.  I need to get a grip.

I do have to say I am stoked about some coming announcements that I’ll be making – I know it’s kind of mean to say that and not provide more info…I hope you’ll forgive me.  Sorry!  I just can’t contain myself!

Anyhow!  I’ve totally slacked on snapping food shots the last couple of days, but I have some weekend eats lined up, just waiting to get their chance in the spotlight.

Friday lunch was leftover vegan basic pasta sauce over whole wheat spaghetti.  Also added a special touch of chopped avocado on top!  I used to would have never thought of putting avocado on top of spaghetti sauce, but these days I more often ask myself “why not??” rather than “why?”

Snack on Friday:) Yogurt with sliced almonds and dried crans

Breakfast on Saturday.  The return of the Pumpkin Protein Waffles.  Round two = better than eva’

Next up: easy prep for mystery recipe – to be featured in a coming post, so stay tuned!

more prep…

simmerin’ away – Can we say “fix it and forget it?”  I think we can:)

On Saturday, Jon and I strolled downtown to check out the arts festival.  While the festival wasn’t exactly as festive as we had hoped, we dined at our most beloved downtown restaurant – Cafe Bella.  The atmosphere is quaint and cozy and the menu has a plethora of veggie/vegan options.  Here was my menu item of choice:

sub in hummus for cream cheese.  Obbbviously.  I die.

Next on the Saturday afternoon agenda was a trip to the health food store – Nature’s Supply.  They were hosting a customer appreciation sale, and I’ll tell ya what…I was feelin’ the love.  I picked up some Pirate’s Booty (obsessed), blue corn chips, organic whole wheat tortillas, tempeh, some dark chocolate and…wait for it…Artisana Cacao Bliss Raw Chocolate Coconut butter – whew!  That’s a mouthful!  And it was.

I had never tried coconut butter before, but of course had seen it all over the blog world.  I just couldn’t bring myself to fork over the big bucks for it; however, who could pass it up as part of the customer appreciate sale?  I mean, c’mon!  Of course, the second I was in the car and out of public view I had to pop it open and get a good taste.  The verdict?  Delish!  I can’t say I will be buying it again because it set us back a good $10 (on sale!), but that is no reflection on how tasty it was.  I’m lucky to splurge on a $5 jar of almond butter though, so I best not get ahead of myself.

Perfection on an Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin english muffin.

and the following morning on a leftover Pumpkin Protein waffle.  Can’t. get. enough.

The rest of the weekend was spent working on projects, hugging and cuddling, and soaking up every last moment of the weekend.  Monday morning swept in much too soon.

We also watched a movie called Beyond Borders.  Have you guys seen it?  It was riveting.  It was also very thought provoking and impactful.  I adore movies that make me think outside the bubble that I live in.  When we lived in Thailand, I was confronted every day with the reality that many people don’t have everything, such as materials possessions, food, shelter etc.,  that I’ve been blessed with.  Since we moved back to the States, however, I’ve found it’s easy to forget.  I like watching movies that deliver prespective right to my front door. This movie really made me think about all that I have to be thankful for.  It also made me really evaluate the things that I really don’t need.  More on that to come in the future.

What is your favorite thing you did and your favorite thing you ate over the weekend?

Do you find it hard sometimes to keep perspective in this material driven world that we live in? What kinds of things do you do to keep yourself in check?

I hope you have had a great start to the week.  Here we go again, ya’ll!

G’night.

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make it happen

Happy Thursday:)  I honestly can’t believe we’re only a night’s sleep away from Friday.  I am SO glad.  I’m just counting down the days until school is out – only 6 weeks and 1 day to go.

I received my Women’s Health magazine in the mail today, and it has some great stuff.  Women’s Health and Oxygen are my favorite magazines – I feel they are the most down-to-earth and real of all the fitness magazines.  This issue has Jillian Michaels on the cover and a great interview with her inside. It’s funny how when you need a certain kind of affirmation about something, it just keeps popping up everywhere. In her interview, Jillian gives some great tips on how to achieve success, so I thought I’d share them with you!

  • Define your goal and be specific:  you have to know exactly what you’re going after before you can go after it.
  • Believe in your ability:  A lot of times people don’t really believe they can accomplish their goals.  If you don’t believe in you, then who will?  This is the one I have the most trouble with.  At times I’ll feel so confident and self assured, like I could become the next Oprah if I wanted…other times I have trouble believing that I can make it through my next workout.  This is something I am really working on in my life right now.
  • Stay positive:  the minute you turn around to bash yourself, reverse it and give yourself a compliment.
  • Imagine your goal:  Visualization allows you to get comfortable with the idea of change.  I was just thinking about this today.  I took a few minutes to visualize my goals.  I pictured myself as I would be a year from now if I actually stepped out and tackled my goals.  I even envisioned what the blog post would look like when I recap everything I will have accomplished (obvs. I think of everything in terms of blog posts:)  This was really motivating for me.  I desperately want to live that story!
  • Get educated:  Studying up before pursuing your goal helps you make powerful choices that effect change.  Knowledge is power.
  • Don’t fear failure:  It is an integral part of success.  I fear failure all the time!  I think the big point here could even be – it’s okay to fear failure, as long as you don’t let that fear hold you back.  Conquer it!
  • Get feedback:  look for someone who’s educated in the goal you’re trying to achieve and seek out constructive criticism from him/her.

I think I’m going to type these up and post them where I can see them on a daily basis.  Keeping things like this in front of me helps me stay motivated and inspired!

Today was honestly pretty stressful.  Work was more stressful than usual (I won’t even go into that), and I got a call from my mom this morning, letting me know my grandpa had an accident.  He had climbed up on the roof of our lake cabin to clear off some limbs, and when he went to climb back down, one leg of the ladder sunk into the ground, causing him to fall from the roof level. Unfortunately, he cracked three ribs.  Fortunately, he didn’t have any other injuries.  I am so thankful to still have my two grandparents, and all the time I think about the possibility of something happening to them.  I don’t know how I would handle it.  Even this got me all worked up, and I just wanted to go visit him, not be at work!  I got to talk to him on the phone for awhile after work, though, and he seemed to be in pretty high spirits, considering.

For lunch, the parents at our school put together a luncheon for the teachers.  I knew right away (from past experience) that there would be nothing there for me, so I packed this

Overnight oats! 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup plain soy yogurt, 1/3 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp chia seeds, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1/2 chopped banana.  Let sit overnight.  Add toppings!  Almond butter to be specific.  Delish!  My coworkers give me the strangest looks sometimes;)

Here’s the rest of the day’s eats

Yes, that would be cheeseless pizza again.  Yes, I just had it last Saturday.  What can I say? I was having a serious hankering for it, and I was exhausted from the day.  What’s a girl to do?

I also am proud to say I worked out today, even though it was all I could do to keep my eyes open during the commute home.  I threw on my gym clothes and headed to the gym.  I cranked out a quick 2.5 miles on the treadmill, and followed it up with some ab work using the Bosu ball.  Yay!

  • What is your favorite fitness magazine?  Or would you rather read online articles/blogs instead?
  • What strategies do you have to help you stay motivated and inspired?
  • Chia Seeds Direct is having a sale on white chia seeds.  Get 10% off by using the code WCS.  Also, U.S. residents get free shipping.  What are ya waiting for??

Well, that’s it for today, folks!  Hope you all have a great Friday! G’night.

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a little of this, a little of that

Happy Wednesday night!  I always enjoy Wednesday nights because it means the week is over halfway through, and we’re sprinting towards Friday!

Tonight I received my very first lesson from Jon about how to take care of the admin side of his business.  One of my goals for our future is for me to take care of the all the admin side, so he’ll be more freed up to design.  It may be surprising, but I’m really excited about it!  I love having my own “gigs,” but there is nothing I love more than being with him, so doing business together totally floats my boat!

I’ve really been trying to clear my head lately.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve got some decisions that I’m trying to work through, and it’s starting to really wear on me.  I often have a hard time “shutting down.”  The more I try to not think about something, the more I think about it!  I just need a break, I think, so I can step away and try to see things from a new perspective.  Any ideas on how to just relax and clear your mind of stress?

I had some seriously great eats today.  It all started off with the usual GM (almond milk+spinach+Amazing Grass+1/2 banana+chia seeds+ice).  Today was Pita Pit day at school, so I had my usual whole wheat pita with babaganoush, spinach, onion, bell pepper, mushroom, sprouts, pineapple, tomoto and hotsauce.  Unfortunately they were out of avocado, so no healthy fats for me.  Bah!  It was tasty nevertheless.

Confession:  I don’t take pictures of my food when I eat lunch at school.  For one, I never take my camera, but also I haven’t told my coworkers about CSM.  I’ve considered telling them, but I just kind of want to keep my private life a little bit separate.  Do your coworkers read your blog?  Do you feel weird about them reading about the personal side of your life?

On to dinner. Close

Closer.

Closest:)

Look familiar?  Yes, that’s right.  It’s the same exact meal from last night.  Creative?  No.  Delicious? Most definitely!  I couldn’t resist having it a second time.  We’re not talking about leftovers either, people…a total remake…with the addition of chia seeds.

And dessert

Three little dried apricots.

I made it to the gym today to continue my pledge.  I did a quick 2 miles on the treadmill followed by weights.  I focused on arms today because my legs are so sore from yesterday!  Then I finished up with another 1 mile on the treadmill.  It was a pretty energizing workout, and I felt really focused.  Yea!

Hope you all have a great night!

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two for the price of one (but not really;)

Hey hey everyone!

I am loving the weather right now!  It’s that perfect temperature where there is a slight breeze, but the sun is warm enough that you can ditch the jacket and cruise with the windows down.  Ahhh.

I started off this morning with this beauty

Cheers!  These were my drinks for the morning.  I always take this water bottle (BPA free!) with me to work and fill it up throughout the day.  I’ve actually been slacking a bit on my water consumption, and I think it may be to blame for the headaches I’ve been getting.  Gotta hydrate!

Lunch was nice and simple – 2 brown rice cakes with 1.5 tbsp almond butter.  I also had an unpictured 1/2 banana on the side.

By 4 hours later I was famished!  I couldn’t tear into my yogurt with almonds and cranberries fast enough! I definitely let myself get too hungry.  Do you ever get to the point where you are shaky from being hungry?  Not a good place to be…take my word for it.  My snack was just enough to fuel me for a good weight training workout.  I did 6 different leg machines today plus some planks.  I love planks – they are seriously addicting.  I can just feel my core getting tighter and stronger.

After hanging with Jon for a little bit, I started not one, but two dinners; he was craving Mexican casserole, which might as well be called ground turkey casserole because that’s the main ingredient.  This is a meal my mom has made for years and it’s a favorite of our family.  I haven’t had it since before I became a vegetarian almost a year and a half ago.  Crazy!

I have to be honest and say that I really don’t enjoy cooking meat.  In fact, the other night in the grocery store, I found myself avoiding the meat department and sending Jon off on his own to get his goods.  I’ll do anything for my husband, so I always gracefully “handle” his meat, touching it as litle as possible of course.  I’m not trying to be dramatic…it’s just the longer I go without eating it, the less appealing it is.  Make sense?

Anyway, here is my meal

In the works…

buckwheat (soba) noodles…

Veggies!!  asparagus, squash, carrots, bell pepper, and the star of the show: mushrooms.  I also added some chick peas for protein and some garlic powder, ground red pepper and bragg’s for flavor and spice:)

In the end I topped if all off with a bit of nutritional yeast.  Perfect.

A little while later we ran over Jon dragged me to Orange Leaf to get some yogurt.  Excuse the poor quality photo – I’m still learning how to use my DSLR.

Dairy free pinapple yogurt, cocoa covered almonds, a few choco chips, kiwi and strawberries!

Heather is encouraging everyone to take part in GE’s campaign “Pledge for Better Health.”  If you haven’t stopped by there to pledge, you should!  I think it’s a great idea.  I pledged to increase my workouts to 6 times a week – not just to look better, but primarily for better health.  Too often I get so focused on outward appearance in relation to working out, and while there is nothing wrong with that, I want to get my focus back to health!  I’m going to be posting more of my workouts on the little bloggie to help keep myself accountable.

What is your primary motivation to workout?  Or is it a combination of things?  Do you find yourself more focused on how your body will look or how it will feel?

Hope you have a fantastic night!!!

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just the essentials

Hey everyone!  How did Monday treat you?  I didn’t get much sleep last night..again...so I’m going to try and keep this short!  These past few days have just been especially busy, and my blogging materials has been lacking to say the least.  Tonight Jon and I had to make a grocery trip because we are out of everything!  Hence the reason I haven’t been cooking much.

First we stopped by this wonderful spot for a quick dinner.

an iPhone special:)

I had a veggie salad with black beans, 3 kinds of salsa, grilled veggies and guac.  There are only a handful of places in our little city where I will eat out, and Chipolte is one of them.  It’s so fresh!

Our grocery trip tonight was very spur of the moment, so I didn’t take the time to make a list.  I really try to always make a list of meal ideas and necessary ingredients before I go to the store, but in situations like tonight, I just stick to the basics.  I always figure if I have some beans, fruit, veggies and grains, then I can always come up with something!

Here are some of the essentials:  whole soy yogurt, almond milk (unsweetened vanilla is my favorite:), pears, kiwis, strawberries, grapes, cuties, organic spinach, canned black beans, canned corn, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat lavash wraps, frozen cherries (yay!), brussel sprouts, avocado, cucumber and carrots.  I’m already well stocked in grains.

I’m looking forward to throwing together some quick meals this week!  I’ll keep you posted;)

Do you make a meal/grocery list before you go to the store?  Or do you just wing it?  What are your key staples that you always keep on hand?

Have a great night…see ya tomorrow!

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